SIFF to kick off with 'Battle in Seattle'

SIFF to kick off with 'Battle in Seattle'
A scene from the movie "Battle in Seattle."
SEATTLE -- Organizers of the Seattle International Film Festival said Wednesday that the event will open with "Battle in Seattle," a drama about the 1999 World Trade Organization protests.

The film will be shown May 22 with stars Charlize Theron and Martin Henderson in attendance at McCaw Hall. Director Stuart Townsend will also be on hand.

In 1999, tens of thousands of demonstrators from around the world came to Seattle to protest the first WTO ministerial meeting in the United States. More than 500 people were arrested and Mayor Paul Schell declared a state of emergency, which led to National Guard troops being summoned to help outnumbered police officers gain control.

In the movie, Mayor Paul Schell is replaced by fictional Mayor Jim Tobin, played by Ray Liotta.

Some of the protests scenes for the movie were re-enacted and filmed in Seattle in late 2006.

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